U.P. Publishers & Authors Association Announces 6th Annual Dandelion Cottage Award Winners

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Houghton School Takes a Hat Trick — U.P. Student Writers to be Honored for Best Short Stories

MARQUETTE, MI (February 24, 2023)— the Upper Peninsula Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) is extremely pleased to announce the winners of the 6th annual Dandelion Cottage Award. The award recognizes U.P. student short story writers of excellence in grades 5 – 12. The Dandelion Cottage Award is funded entirely by charitable donations and no fees have ever been charged to entrants or winners. Students submit stories in consultation with their teachers. This year’s contest was made even more exciting by adding 2nd and 3rd place winners to the junior division which formerly chose only a single winner in all past years. The contest is chaired by Larry Buege (Marquette, MI), a UPPAA Board member and author of the popular Chogan series.

In the senior division (grades 9 – 12), first place will be awarded to Jaclyn Jukkala, a freshman at Houghton High School in Ironwood, for her story “The Window” (her sponsor was teacher Jessica Klein). The award includes a medallion, the winner’s name on a traveling school trophy and a $250 cash prize. Second place will be awarded to Lilli Gast, a freshman also at Houghton High School for her story “Azalea Tea and Other Poisons” accompanied by a medallion and $100 prize. A medallion and prize money of $50 will go to third place winner Miah Billie, a sophomore who is home schooled in Ironwood for her story “Shadows of the Mind” (sponsor Elizabeth Billie).

In the junior division, for writers in grades 5 – 8, Halle Wakkuri (grade 8), in the Delta County Christian Home Educators (DCCHE) Co-op, won first place for her story “The Karate Club,” (sponsor Lena Quinlan) which confers a $150 prize. Serah Oommen (grade 8) in Houghton Middle School (sponsor Jessica Klein) won second place for her story “Overcoming Hardships in Life” which includes a $75 prize. Betty Harriman (grade 6) in Marquette’s Bothwell Middle School (sponsor Adam Dompierre) took third place for her story “Mushrooms” with a $25 prize.

This year’s 37  participants came from sixteen different U.P. schools from Ironwood to Escanaba and from Houghton to Marquette. The judges would like to thank each and every student who submitted their work. For more information about the annual Dandelion Cottage short story contest, visit www.DandelionCottage.org.

First Place Winners – Dandelion Cottage Award

Jaclyn Jukkala (Senior Division)                    and                   Halle Wakkuri (Junior Division)

Each of the honored stories will appear in the upcoming 7th volume of U.P. Reader, UPPAA’s own annual literary anthology featuring short stories, poetry and essays by its members. This successful publication helps spread the word about the organization, raise money for educational programming, and encourages people in the Upper Peninsula and beyond to read U.P. writers. Complimentary copies of the U.P. Reader are available to all U.P. educators and media for the asking. The on-sale date is scheduled for April 15, 2023.  Consult your local bookseller for availability or purchase at Amazon. For more information, visit www.UPReader.org.

The awards are tentatively scheduled to be distributed at the 25th Annual UPPAA Conference at the Peter White Library in Marquette on June 10th, 2023. In the event of a public health issue, the awards, including cash prizes, medallions, and complimentary copies of U.P. Reader will be distributed through private meetings throughout the U.P.

About the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA)

The UPPAA was founded in 1998 and is a non-profit 501(c)6 corporation with the goal of educating and empowering authors of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.. Among its outreach programs are the U.P. Notable Books List, the Dandelion Cottage Award, and a yearly anthology The U.P. Reader.

For more information about this award, contact president@uppaa.org (Victor Volkman)

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